The hue and cry over the last few days among conservatives in the Canadian media has been deafening.
Why? Omar Khadr has finally been shipped from GITMO to a Canadian prison, 10 years after he was captured by US troops in Ayub Kheyl, Afghanistan.
In October 2010, Khadr pled guilty to war crimes as stipulated here. In Canada the entire story has had wide exposure.
For me this story has not yet warranted a mention in any of my postings. The very idea of a "war on terror" like most government crusades (good word here), leaves me apathetic to the cause, yawning, except that it is yet another way government wastes lives and money by maladministration. The one thing governments should be doing, protecting our rights, protecting our freedoms, ensuring our safety from violence, they manage screw up by inappropriate international interventions. Does anyone in the West feel safer now that the war on terror has entered its second decade? I doubt it.
The Khadr story has been a political football in Canada. Conservatives see it as a cause célèbre for the fight against terrorism, collectivists (left liberals and socialists including the mainstream media) see it as an injustice verging on abuse, done to an innocent child. The collectivists have a point.
Khadr was 15 years old when the incident occurred. Canadian fifteen-year-olds don't arrange to travel 11,000 km (6800 miles) to Afghanistan to get into a firefight with American soldiers. Canadian fifteen-year-olds don't arrange for weapons and explosives training while in Afghanistan. Canadian fifteen-year-olds generally don't appear in al Qaeda videos with weapons in the background. These events are due to the actions of parents, and not parents that mean well. What kind of parent would bring their child to the centre of a military conflict? What kind of parent would put their child into the path of mortal danger? Certainly these actions would be considered abusive and we may never know what Omar the child's wishes were back then. Ten years at GITMO will change you, no doubt.
Which brings me to the prevailing conservative position in the Khadr case. Conservatives are often the first to stand up for abused children in a variety of situations. Why not Omar? Omar Khadr was a child by any definition used in Canada when these events occurred, yet he is vilified amongst conservatives as being beyond redemption, a traitor, and a murderer. Lets just throw away the key. Is that a reasonable well thought out position? Do the sins of one's father transfer to the child?
Sure, Khadr has made statements and confessions while in GITMO, but he may not have felt free to speak. How would anyone act if they were held captive in such a hostile situation?
So now what? Its hard to believe that Khadr has been rehabilitated (or will ever be) by being in a prison with older terrorist operatives. I doubt that in that time they have come to love America, the West and all that it stands for. Even before GITMO, Khadr's family saw to it that he was indoctrinated with the antihuman distortions of a fundamentalist Muslim upbringing. Any religious indoctrination in my view is abusive, this one was way beyond that. All of this was sanctioned and encouraged by his family, they didn't care. Why should we?
The Islamic traditions that Khadr's family cultivates are not going to blend readily into the so-called multicultural traditions of Canada. The lies that defend multiculturalism and relativism in Canadian society will stop right here. The very idea of Sharia, the moral code of Islam, is in many ways inimical to life in a free and culturally pluralistic society such as we have in Canada. I'm concerned that the story of this conflict has just begun.